ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Stand Up and Be Counted2010

Updated on April 28, 2010

Stand Up And Be Counted

Until I graduated from college...the second time, I had so many different types of jobs while I was in school that it should be a misdemeanor. I had a friend once tell me that she thought of me whenever she saw a "help wanted" sign. I told her to think of me, and pick up an application.

I never liked to waste energy on hard-core, long-term complaining. I wanted to try a bunch of different types of jobs until I was happy, and anything that offered short-term employment at a reasonable rate sounded like the perfect next job to me. And so it went 10 years ago while I was in my second year of college, and the US census was looking for temporary workers.

Now know, that the census was one of those "good government jobs" I'd heard adults rave about. My previous jobs had involved aprons, a lot of driving, many changes of clothes (don't ask), and a hearty helping of my own dignity. The Census, however, made it clear that this was a grown-up job. We had to actually take a test, which at the time was a typing analysis to demonstrate good data entry skills. We were finger-printed, and we went through background checks. People with shiny badges performed our new-hire classes. When I got this job, I was dazzled by all the official paperwork, and by the complete lack of greasy silverware to sort. I wondered if my working for the US government in this way, with all these officials would lead to great things in my future. I fantasized about the new addition to my resume that wouldn't involve me getting dirty in some way. I should've waited to actually start my employment for the Census before I let these delusions of grandeur get the best of me.

I worked at the Census with a friend of mine, Kim, and we carpooled together. Our first night there, we were divided up into teams, and introduced to our team captain. I developed a spontaneous crush on my team captain because he had the sweetest smile ever, and he smelled like such a great time. Anyway, I couldn't help but notice, that though we had been put through the ringer for this job, there were hundreds of us hired and we were in, essentially, a warehouse. I was a college student, and on my team there were professional people who'd heard about the temporary job at a great pay rate and decided to moonlight as a census worker for the few months that the job was supposed to last. However, as I glanced around this little data entry sweat shop, I noticed that there were also some new hires that were a little less than professional. I saw a few new employees dressed in sweats and do-rags. I swear that I saw someone with a baby in their lap in front of a computer. I also recall a few "thug life" tatoos on some gentlemen, who frankly, I couldn't see having the ability to type with such thick, man-killing hands. Hmmm....

We were welcomed to the US Government 2000 census, and congratulated on making it past the obviously thorough screening process to work for our government. We were viewing handwritten Census forms that had been scanned into the computer and we were supposed to type what we saw, no matter what it said. If Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse were the two residents living in that particular abode, than they should be counted as such. Did we have any questions?

I did have questions, but none of them pertained to the official task that we were supposed to perform, so I remained silent, and turned to my computer. It read "no batches found." In fact, nearly everyone's black-screened computer read simply, "no batches found." When we brought this issue up to our well-trained team captains, we were told, "yea...they said this might happen. Y'all better bring something to do when you come to work in case there's down time."

And bring things we did. Personally, I had homework, and I wrote poetry, but people brought jacks, hoola hoops, cards, and board games. Working for the US government was where I learned to play poker...don't test my skills. Night after night, next to computers that read "no batches found," we played like children, while people in suits asked us if we knew anyone looking for temporary employment as they were DESPERATE for employees. I almost offered to let them bring a second computer that said "no batches found" to me and I could sit next to that one too to help them out, but I was starting to get into really deep bible and book discussions, and I didn't want the second computer in my way.

Towards the end of my time at the Census, the government sponsored a giant indoor work picnic to thank us for all of our hard work. They applauded our success, and hoped to see us back in 2010. The picnic was to include an awards ceremony, and a cheerleading contest. I was on the yellow team, and wrote my team's cheers. We came in second place. At the time I was a kid in college, and didn't have an appreciation for tax dollars, or the misuse of government funds. Looking back now, with a better understanding of those types of issues, it really makes me want to give America a round of applause. Don't forget to stand up and be counted for the official US Government 2010 census!



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)